148+ Best Willie Nelson Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Willie Hugh Nelson is an American musician, songwriter and guitarist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie, combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger and Stardust, made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. Inspirational Willie Nelson quotes will challenge the way you think, and make your life worth living.

If you’re searching for positive quotes by musicians that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of Johnny Cash quotes, famous Dolly Parton quotes, and inspiring Aretha Franklin quotes.

Most Famous Willie Nelson Quotes

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results. – Willie Nelson

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. – Willie Nelson

I take it not only a day at a time, but a moment at a time, and keep it at that pace. If you can be happy right now, then you’ll always be happy, because it’s always in the now – Willie Nelson

I think it is just terrible and disgusting how everyone has treated Lance Armstrong, especially after what he achieved winning seven Tour de France races while on drugs……When I was on drugs I couldn’t even find my bike. – Willie Nelson

I don’t believe in adhering to any rules I don’t support, and I didn’t vote for. To hell with what people think. Just be who you are and you’ll be happy. – Willie Nelson

In church I was told that if I so much as smoked a cigarette or tasted alcohol, I’d be damned in hell for all eternity… it didn’t take long for me to start thinking that sounded all wrong… I didn’t cotton to the idea that your religion should be flaunted to other people. Your religion is for you and is best kept close to your heart. – Willie Nelson

When I left Nashville, I went to Texas because that’s where I came from, and because I was playing in Texas a lot in different places. And I saw hippies and rednecks drinking beer together and smoking dope together and having a good time together and I knew it was possible to get all groups of people together – long hair, short hair, no hair – and music would bring them together. – Willie Nelson

When I would sell encyclopedias, I would drive down the road looking for a house with a swing set in the back, and I’d say, Oh, those folks got kids. They need some books. I’d knock on their door and sell them a set of encyclopedias, and those books were from $300 to $600. I’d look around the house, and if there wasn’t that much furniture in the house, I felt a little bad about selling a $600 set of books to people who couldn’t afford a couch. So, I didn’t last at that job very long. – Willie Nelson

Just take what you need from the ladies and leave them. – Willie Nelson

I have more dumb luck thank anybody I know. There must be a convey of guardian angels working twenty-four hours a day looking after me […] Like the night I first got to Nashville that I laid down in the middle of Broadway, waiting to get run over. It did not happen […] I could swear they were keeping me alive just to see what I’d get next, I’m glad they feel that way. I’m trying to help them a little more this days. – Willie Nelson

I got in at 2 with a 10 and woke up at 10 with a 2. – Willie Nelson

A lot of country music is sad. I think most art comes out of poverty and hard times. It applies to music. Three chords and the truth – that’s what a country song is. There is a lot of heartache in the world. – Willie Nelson

Oh, I think it’s definitely spiritual. All music is. I think it’s maybe one of the highest forms of spirituality. – Willie Nelson

I don’t think any person has any special knowledge about what God has planned for me and you any more than me and you do. – Willie Nelson

Love is like a dying ember, only memories remain. – Willie Nelson

I’m drowning in whiskey river. – Willie Nelson

If you want to make marijuana legal, you’ve got to stay straight long enough to f – vote. – Willie Nelson

One thing I learned is that the mind, rather than being the master, should be the servant of the heart. – Willie Nelson

When you’re singing, you’re using extra muscles, and it requires a lot of exercise and breathing. You can’t do that if you’re a sissy. If I have any fitness advice for people, I’d tell them to sing more. It’s good therapy, too. – Willie Nelson

I didn’t come here and I ain’t leavin’. – Willie Nelson

My wife actually got worried about my drinking so much regular milk, you know, so she got me into rice milk and now soymilk, which I greatly enjoy. A soy mocha’s a fine thing. – Willie Nelson

I been a long time leaving but I’m going to be a long time gone. – Willie Nelson

I’ve known straight and gay people all my life. I can’t tell the difference… But I’d never marry a guy I didn’t like. – Willie Nelson

Heard you told him that you’d love him ’til the end of time. Now that’s the same thing that you told me. – Willie Nelson

I think most art comes out of poverty and hard times. – Willie Nelson

Waylon Jennings and I had a lot of fun recording together. – Willie Nelson

I would like to see more airplay for all artists, no matter what age. I think there’s a lot of money being spent toward the young guys, but a lot of the older guys are the ones who blazed the trail for those young guys. – Willie Nelson

If I started drinking again, there would be a lot of people bringing me pot because I can’t handle alcohol. I just am not a good drinker. I get a little alcohol in me and I start trying to change the world, and that’s not good. A lot of people are the same way. So that’s why I don’t drink anymore. – Willie Nelson

Let the jerks of the world serve as the perfect example of what you don’t want to be. You’ll be a heck of a lot happier, and in the long run, there’s a chance that other person at work will end up asking what your secret is. Why are you the happy one? In other words, don’t let your thoughts think you. Besides, if you’re really gonna get pissed, don’t waste it on your family, friends, or coworkers, save it for something that really matters. – Willie Nelson

When you put your life in a good place, good things follow. – Willie Nelson

I’m crazy for trying, crazy for crying, and I’m crazy for loving you. – Willie Nelson

I got along without you before I met you and I’ll get along without you a long time after you’re gone. – Willie Nelson

Anybody can be unhappy. We can all be hurt. You don’t have to be poor to need something or somebody. Rednecks, hippies, misfits – we’re all the same. Gay or straight? So what? It doesn’t matter to me. We have to be concerned about other people, regardless. – Willie Nelson

If you really want to get along with somebody, let them be themselves. – Willie Nelson

You’ll never get ahead by blaming your problems on other people. – Willie Nelson

Do something bad a thousand times and it’s no big deal. Everyone just goes, Willie f – up again. – Willie Nelson

When songs fall from the sky, all I can do is catch them before they hit the ground. – Willie Nelson

I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong? – Willie Nelson

I was in the Air Force a while and they had what they callpolicing the area. That’s where you looked around and if there’s anything wrong here, there, anywhere, you took care of your own area. And I think that’s a pretty good thing to go by. If everyone just takes care of their own area, then we won’t have any problems. Be here. Be present. Wherever you are, be there. And look around you and see what needs to be changed. – Willie Nelson

Little things I should have said and done I just never took the time You were always on my mind – Willie Nelson

We create our own unhappiness. The purpose of suffering is to help us understand we are the ones who cause it. – Willie Nelson

There’s a freedom you begin to feel the closer you get to Austin, Texas. – Willie Nelson

Rather than trying to put an end to Eminem or some other rapper, politicians should think about why they’re rapping. It’s easier to try to censor some kid who’s swearing about poverty than it is to stop the poverty. – Willie Nelson

I believe that all roads lead to the same place – and that is wherever all roads lead to. – Willie Nelson

There are more old drunks than there are old doctors. – Willie Nelson

If you start out looking at somebody, wondering whether he’s good or bad, I think you’re starting out in the wrong direction. I think we’re all good and we’re all bad. – Willie Nelson

If you’ve made your own hell, then only you have the power to escape it. – Willie Nelson

When evolution has been outlawed, only the outlaws will evolve. – Willie Nelson

I started learning my lessons in Abbot Texas, where I was born in 1933. My sister Bobbie and I were raised by our grandparents […] We never had enough money, and Bobbie and I started working at an early age to help the family get by. That hard work included picking cotton. […] Picking cotton is hard and painful work, and the most lasting lesson I learned in the fields was that I didn’t want to spend my life picking cotton. – Willie Nelson

I think hemp is one of the greatest plants that God put in the ground, and I don’t think anybody has the right to eradicate it. Just because somebody wants to get high with a joint, that’s no reason to throw him in jail and take his damn belongings. He’s just trying to get well. The mother – ‘s sick. That’s why people drink beer when they come home from work. They’re stressed out. That’s all grass does. It’s a big stress reliever. – Willie Nelson

It’s an ongoing problem, an ongoing situation, life is. It’s just life, and it never stops, and it never will. You just be thankful for what you’ve got and move on. – Willie Nelson

You don’t have to be poor to need something or somebody. – Willie Nelson

If you wait for tomorrow to follow your dreams, by the time that you get there they’re gone. – Willie Nelson

We are the same. There is no difference anywhere in the world. People are people. They laugh, cry, feel, and love, and music seems to be the commons denomination that brings us all together. Music cuts through all boundaries and goes right to the soul. – Willie Nelson

There is only one map to the journey of life, and it lives within your heart – Willie Nelson

God has blessed you richly, so get down on your knees and thank him. Don’t forget the less fortunate or God will personally kick your ass. I’d love to do it for him, but I can’t be everywhere. – Willie Nelson

If you’re not crazy there’s something wrong with you. – Willie Nelson

Be gentle with your words – you can’t take them back. – Willie Nelson

Be here. Be present. Wherever you are, be there. – Willie Nelson

The biggest killer on the planet is stress and I still think the best medicine is and always has been cannabis. – Willie Nelson

As adults we try to relax from the never-ending quest for reason and order by drinking a little whiskey or smoking whatever works for us, but the wisdom isn’t in the whiskey or the smoke. The wisdom is in the moments when the madness slips away and we remember the basics. – Willie Nelson

I learned some invaluable lessons in Nashville that apply to both farming and show business: Do not corner something you know is meaner than you; keep skunks of all kinds at a distance; if you forgive your enemies, it messes up their heads. – Willie Nelson

Indecision may or may not be our biggest problem. – Willie Nelson

My doctor tells me I should start slowing it down – but there are more old drunks than there are old doctors so let’s all have another round. – Willie Nelson

If you can be content right now, then you’ll always be content, because it’s always right now. – Willie Nelson

I like marijuana because it keeps me from killing people. And I think there are a lot of people out there who are just like me. The reason it’s not legal is because most people get up in the morning and get high, then forget to go out and vote for it. – Willie Nelson

You will never find happiness until you stop looking for it. – Willie Nelson

Three chords and the truth – that’s what a country song is. – Willie Nelson

Ninety-nine percent of the world’s lovers are not with their first choice. That’s what makes the jukebox play. – Willie Nelson

On the road again, goin’ places that I’ve never been. Seein’ things that I may never see again, and I can’t wait to get on the road again. – Willie Nelson

Fortunately, we are not in control. – Willie Nelson

You know why divorces are so expensive? They’re worth it. – Willie Nelson

I live one day at a time, one day at a time. Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow is blind, so I live one day at a time. – Willie Nelson

I started out really young, when I was four, five, six, writing poems, before I could play an instrument. I was writing about things when I was eight or 10 years old that I hadn’t lived long enough to experience. That’s why I also believe in reincarnation, that we were put here with ideas to pass around. – Willie Nelson

Freedom is control in your own life. I have more control now than in the past, and I’m learning the value of saying no. That’s very important. – Willie Nelson

I grew up across the street from, you know, the Villarias, which was a great Mexican family there. In fact, there was three houses right across the street from me. So, day and night, I listened to Mexican music, and I’m sure, you know, my guitar playing, singing, writing, whatever, has a lot of Mexican flavor there, but it comes natural. – Willie Nelson

Since I was a kid, music was what I wanted to do. I thought I could make it by my own talents. That’s what I wanted to prove. – Willie Nelson

Cruelty is all out of ignorance. If you knew what was in store for you, you wouldn’t hurt anybody, because whatever you do comes back much more forceful than you send it out. – Willie Nelson

It doesn’t hurt to feel sad from time to time. – Willie Nelson

Don’t try to change anybody. And they should let you be yourself, ‘You loved me when you met me, so let’s keep going!’ – Willie Nelson

I used to work in the cotton fields a lot when I was young. There were a lot of African Americans working out there. A lot of Mexicans – the blacks and the whites and the Mexicans, all out there singing, and it was like an opera in the cotton fields, and I can still hear it in the music that I write and play today. – Willie Nelson

I’m from Texas, and one of the reasons I like Texas is because there’s no one in control. – Willie Nelson

You want to be a good parent and you want to be a friend, and it’s hard to be both. You have to balance it as well as you can. – Willie Nelson

I text and email my friends and family a lot, but that’s about the extent of my high-tech-etude. – Willie Nelson

We’ve already been reincarnated about a million times, maybe. It doesn’t make sense any other way. – Willie Nelson

There’s a great enthusiasm for good country music all over the world. – Willie Nelson

As long as there’s a few farmers out there, we’ll keep fighting for them. – Willie Nelson

I am not a pig farmer. The pigs had a great time, but I didn’t make any money. – Willie Nelson

If you got the money honey I got the time and when you run out of money honey I run out of time. – Willie Nelson

You could make any song sound creepy if you wanted. It’s all about the inflection. – Willie Nelson

I like to stick with music I know I can play. I love classical, but I don’t think I could ever play it. I’m just not qualified. – Willie Nelson

Where I grew up, Bob Wills and his western swing was very popular. And western swing is not that far from jazz and blues. – Willie Nelson

I never gave up on country music because I knew what I was doing was not that bad. – Willie Nelson

Most of the stuff I’ve read about me has been true. – Willie Nelson

All I do is play music and golf – which one do you want me to give up? – Willie Nelson

Sometimes there is a 36-piece orchestra going off in my stomach. – Willie Nelson

When you hear me, you know it’s me, regardless of the song. – Willie Nelson

I guess if you can’t sing, you better have a style! – Willie Nelson

When I’m driving the highway by myself is when I write best. – Willie Nelson

I’m not prejudiced in any way that I can think of. That’s just not the guy I am. – Willie Nelson

If a song was ever good, it’s still good. – Willie Nelson

I don’t like to think too far ahead. – Willie Nelson

The first time I got onstage was when I was about 5 years old. It was at a church social, and I had a poem to recite. – Willie Nelson

When I was about 12, I had my first paying gig – 8 dollars to play rhythm guitar in a polka band. Pretty soon, I ended up playing in all the bars within driving distance of Abbott, Texas. – Willie Nelson

I just enjoy both working and not working. And fortunately, I work enough where I get that out of my system, and then we take a few days off, take a rest. – Willie Nelson

I started out writing poems before I figured to put melodies to them and play the guitar. Somewhere, there’s a book out there on all those early songs and poems. I hope no one ever finds it. I don’t think it’s my finest work. – Willie Nelson

I was born in Abbott, Texas, a little small town in central Texas, and I was raised by my grandparents. And my parents divorced when I was six months old, and my grandparents raised me. – Willie Nelson

All my kids were raised on computers: They were home-schooled on the Internet, so they’re pretty good at that stuff. And I’m proud of them, but I don’t really keep up with it. – Willie Nelson

Writing books is fun because after I do a show for a couple hours, I’m in a bus for 22 hours. It’s not hard for me to look out the window and tell a joke here and there. – Willie Nelson

I think most people realize that our problems are our government, not me and you individually, except that we can – must have some sort of responsibility, because they’re in there and they were elected, so we have to defend ourselves on those lines. – Willie Nelson

We’re still here trying to get the word out that 330 farmers are quitting every week. – Willie Nelson

But if you think of all the people who don’t like me, just think of all the millions who’ve never heard of me! – Willie Nelson

The whole house came up and I came up with it… I was just praying to the Lord to take care of me. – Willie Nelson

There are only so many notes so there must be only so many melodies. – Willie Nelson

I think I’m basically the same guy I always was. Maybe I’ve learned, through experience, to rein in some of the anger and temper they say redheads normally have. – Willie Nelson

I think Ray Charles did as much as anybody when he did his country music album. Ray Charles broke down borders and showed the similarities between country music and R&B. – Willie Nelson

Well the country songs themselves are three-chord stories, ballads which are mostly sad. If you are already feeling sorry for yourself when you listen to them they will take you to an even sadder place. – Willie Nelson

Everything about Sinatra was good. He had the ability to pick great songs, and once Sinatra had sung them, that pretty much was it. He pretty much put his stamp on everything. – Willie Nelson

When I see someone I think is cool, he’s a pretty well-adjusted individual. He’s not too affected one way or the other by what’s happening, no matter what’s going through his mind. – Willie Nelson

And as far as guitars go, I loved Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West’s stuff. – Willie Nelson

I like myself better when I’m writing regularly. – Willie Nelson

I was influenced a lot by those around me – there was a lot of singing that went on in the cotton fields. – Willie Nelson

I wanted to connect all people who are thinking about peace on Earth. – Willie Nelson

When we did the first one, I really thought that one would be all that would be necessary. Everybody would say ‘Oh yeah, the farmers are getting screwed here, let’s fix that,’ – Willie Nelson

What has changed is that nothing has changed. . . . That’s what has made me more unhappy than everything else. – Willie Nelson

Mainly because I’d already been paid on it . . . and paid pretty good. – Willie Nelson

I’d like to see this happen time and time again, thousands of times across the country. – Willie Nelson

I have a lot of respect for the military. I like to show them that I support them every chance I get. … We get as much out of it as (the soldiers). – Willie Nelson

I always thought Hank Williams was a great person to listen to, … because his messages were simple, to the point, usually just three chords but they hit you right in the bone. – Willie Nelson

He’s got to be there. He belongs there as much as anybody else. He’s done as much as any of us to progress country music and let it be heard around the world and give it the respect it deserves. – Willie Nelson

We may have been poor, but my sister, Bobbie, and I were taught to hold our heads up high. Whether you’re young or old, when you meet someone, you look ’em in the eye and speak up so you can be heard. When you look a person in the eye, you’re not trying to hide who you are, plus you get a pretty good idea of who they are. – Willie Nelson

Kinky will get the politicians out of politics, but we need your help to get him on the ballot. Kinky has only a few weeks to collect over 45,000 signatures, and I’ll be one of those signatures, and I hope you will, too. – Willie Nelson

It can’t get much worse, 100 yards an hour, … It’s frustrating bumper-to-bumper. – Willie Nelson

I think it’s true, we have to watch what we’re doing. I think if we start out to make what we’re trying to do work locally, using local farmers, local people, local control, not going outside and importing a lot of things – everything we need, grow it in the area and be self-sustaining – I think we can probably keep that from happening to a certain degree. – Willie Nelson

I think it’s time we start looking seriously at alternative energies so we don’t have to go around the world looking for oil, – Willie Nelson

I think this is a great thing that’s happening. It’s good for the country, it’s good for Oklahoma, it’s good for all of us. – Willie Nelson

We just about threw away the whole store and restocked it, – Willie Nelson

This song’s been in the closet for 20 years. – Willie Nelson

completely in line with what I’m doing. Without getting too philosophical, I sort of look at life as being one scene after another anyway. That’s true. – Willie Nelson

The winds of change are always blowingAnd every time I try to stayThe winds of change continue blowingAnd they just carry me away. – Willie Nelson

The song’s been in the closet for 20 years. The timing’s right for it to come out. – Willie Nelson

This is a moment when each of us can take stock of what we can offer to everyone affected by this catastrophe. – Willie Nelson

There’s a lot of good things going on. For the last year, people have found out more and more about it, including myself. Once they get it, they like it. – Willie Nelson

This is the start of tax season, with people receiving 1040s in mail, – Willie Nelson

For helping me to grow I owe a lot I knowTo all the girls I’ve loved before. – Willie Nelson

It is the future. Through bio-diesel, we can reduce dependency on foreign oil and adopt an energy source that’s clean, renewable and helps family farmers find new uses for their products. – Willie Nelson

Eating organic, family-grown food is important to a lot of us, so that’s why it’s important to take care of the family farmers. They’re the backbone of the country. – Willie Nelson

It’s important because we are going around the world starting wars because over oil, and we don’t have to do that. We can grow our own fuel here at home, help our farmers, help our environment, help the truckers … help the local communities. – Willie Nelson

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